Rangers summoned after 'leopard' spotted in Harare

2015-05-24 14:53

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Harare - Shoppers in Harare summoned wildlife rangers this week after they thought they'd seen a leopard in a busy shopping area.

The leopard turned out to be a male serval that had likely strayed from a nearby vlei, according to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

Traffic backed up in the suburb of Greencroft as motorists strained to get a view, the state broadcaster reported.

The wild cat was captured on Friday and will be released in the Umfurudzi Safari Area, about 140km from the capital, the wildlife authority said.

Spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo said in a statement that her organisation "appreciate[s] the speedy report received from the community as the cerval has since been captured and is going to be released".

It was is "in good condition", said officials from the Tikki Hywood Trust, who helped in the capture.

Leopards have ventured into Harare before. In 2009, a leopard killed a Boerbul in the upmarket Greystone Park suburb.

Two months ago, dogs chased a cerval up a tree in Selbourne Park, Bulawayo. Wildlife authorities captured and took it to the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage.

Servals are medium-sized African wild cats, usually spotted black on tawny.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  animals

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